State employees told there will be no government shutdown

Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has informed roughly 48,000 state employees that there will be no state government shutdown next week and all staff should report to work as planned. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the Fiscal Year 2020 budget presentation | Casey Hull

Whitmer received all 16 Legislature-passed budgets earlier by Friday and will now work through the weekend to ensure the budgets are in place by Tuesday when the state’s 2020 Fiscal Year begins. 

“This has been an extremely challenging budget cycle,” the memo read. “The Governor and the State Budget Office staff will be working around the clock this weekend to finish getting all the budgets ready. The Governor will be exercising the powers that she can to get our budget into the best possible shape with what has been presented.”

Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown confirmed the memo, but declined further comment at this time. News of the memo was first reported by Bridge. 

Final GOP budgets pass Legislature, Whitmer calls bills ‘a mess’

The GOP-led Legislature passed all of its budgets late last week, and Whitmer subsequently called them “a mess.” The Democratic governor, however, has several tools at her disposal.

They include line-item vetos of individual appropriations she disagrees with; she can declare “boilerplate” language to be unenforceable; and she can use administrative powers to go around the Legislature and reallocate money within individual departments. 

Republicans largely ignored much of Whitmer’s own budget proposals, such as a 45-cent gas tax increase to fund roads and large boosts to education. They claim, however, that their budgets provide “record” funding for both schools and roads.

Nick Manes
Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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